Ramsar Site Demolition Today

Henry Quartey


The Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources led by the National Security apparatus will begin a demolition exercise at the Sakumono Ramsar site close to Tema today.

Traditional leaders, including chiefs from both Tema and Nungua, endorsed the decongestion exercise,  especially  for  structures  sited within the core areas.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, who announced the exercise yesterday, said it is aimed at retrieving state acquired lands by an Executive Instrument that has been encroached upon following a similar exercise at Frafraha and its environs.

He said, “We are on our way to the Sakumono Ramsar Site to do same, we are here to meet with stakeholders. It is important to note that the allodia owners, the traditional councils and authorities have given us their blessing and to collaborate with us in this exercise.”

The minister, who is also the chairman of REGSEC, said his outfit is not mandated by law to regularise lands but to ensure the protection of lands and properties in the Greater Accra Region.

He stated that a reconnaissance exercise has been done by the security and intelligence agencies prior to today’s mission.

He explained that though encroachers have been cautioned for several months to desist from further encroachment on the sites, they continue to build with ‘impunity’, adding that a comprehensive report will be made available by the National Security to the authorities concerned.

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, for his part, said the ministry had no option but to embark on the exercise having engaged the encroachers on the issue on several occasions.

“It is clear that when you go there you will see the buildings and structures sited in the water body. We have all seen how it’s raining these days. We don’t want to see what happened at Weija to happen here,” he said.

He stated that structures found in the core areas at the site will be demolished, while the structures built outside these areas will not be affected.

The Paramount Chief of Nungua, Nii (Prof.) Odaifio Welentsi III, commended the President and the Regional Minister for the move. He pledged his support for the government to sanitise the area having raised concerns on the encroached lands for several years.

Nii Tema, a representative of the Tema Paramountcy, also said the demolition was in the right direction as the exercise would pave way for the rightful owners of the land to acquire their lands, as some parts have been in contention for decades.


By Ebenezer K. Amponsah